Emilio Nathaniel Thomas was born, and lives in Dangriga, Belize. He is a talented singer-songwriter who has been performing Paranda music for 13 years.
Paranda is both a rhythm and a genre of music, its the music of the Garifuna people and its performed solely on acoustic instruments, namely the guitar, Garifuna drums, shakers, and turtle shells.
Emilio is passionate about keeping this style of music alive, and this comes through in his performance. Much of what he sings has been written himself, he says “my music is about togetherness and awareness of the goodness in life!” Its telling a folklore story which usually has a moral. His favorite song to sing is Yurumeina “because it reminds me of where I came from and how far I can go, by just believing, you can make it happen.”
His biggest musical inspiration is Aurelio Martinez, aka Aurelio, a well known Garifuna musician from Honduras, with roots in Garifuna culture.
Affectionately known as “Sasamu Garifuna” which means “wise”, one of his biggest accomplishments was touring through Europe in 2014 with the Garifuna Collectives, they performed in 10 countries over a period of 2 months.
In 2013 Emilio, had graduated from college and had been teaching music for almost 2 years when he decided to give everything up – why….? Because he needed to find his true self, the 6 months spent alone, played an instrumental role in shaping who he is as an artist and as an individual today. “I needed to take some time off to find my identity”. Emilio is seen as the next Paranda Icon in Belize, but with so many different opportunities coming his way he is still incredibly dedicated to his kids at Dellie Acadamy.
He is driven by his music, takes pride in his building his craft, loves sharing with others and learning more each day. In the future he would like to be touring different countries, sharing his music, culture and country with the rest of the world. But for now you can see Emilio every Sunday night, performing his favorite songs right here at Hamanasi from 6.30pm to 9.30pm.